So far prospects of a mining revival in Wisconsin’s north woods have opened up the possibility of thousands of new jobs in two areas that have struggled economically—the mineral-rich, employment-poor northern counties and the manufacturing counties of the southeast—and turned the bright light of truth on the Bad River Chippewa Band’s pollution scandal that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
But there’s another reason to cheer on the resurrection of a northern mining industry. It’s bringing into focus who’s on the side of working people (and people who wish they were working,) and who’s prepared to abandon them in order to please well-heeled far-left elites.
Wisconsin’s legislative Democrats have already demonstrated this by opposing an activity that can give their constituents a better life. Now we have a story from the Minnesota Iron Range that shows it’s no fluke: The leftists who boss the Democratic Party simply don’t give a hoot about the people they pretend they’re protecting.
The liberal Minneapolis newspaper does a good job spelling out the Democrats’ dilemma, but in quoting ex-legislator Tom Rukavina it conveys an even richer irony. A genial promoter of the biggest possible government, Rukavina was so liberal in his long statehouse career that even fellow Democrats called him “Tommy the Commie.”
To find Rukavina at odds with the environmentalist Left is to illuminate its bottomless contempt for real people trying to live their lives. This is the kind of awakening that moved blue collar Democrats to embrace Ronald Reagan.
And last week’s exposure of more seamy Wisconsin tribal politics in hiring a mine opponent to trespass on presumed mining sites, potentially suborning a crime, is all the more so.
Who knows what might get cleaned up before this drama ends?